Preparing for the (Un)conference: The basics of unconferencing

Maybe you are interested in our general topic, but wary of the unconference format. You want to know what will be expected of you and what information or materials you might need to bring. Or you wonder how in the world we can have a successful event without a lot of advance planning or even an agenda. Here are a few tips to help you become familiar with the concept of an unconference.

  1. A great way to start learning the basics is to read this short document, titled Unconferencing, by Kayila Hamlin.
  2. Now that you have read about a few of the types of sessions, you might be interested in learning more specifics about the types of methods that might be used. Check out this page at Here you will find lots of creative ideas for sessions, as well as a description of Open Space technology, which we will use to get things started.
  3. Think about the topics listed here. Think about your own interests and experiences. If you could decide the agenda for a conference on sexuality and disability, what would you most like to see discussed? This will be your opportunity to make it happen!
  4. Now go back to the Methods page and think about how you might like to present your topic. You will not be required to lead a session, but you will have the opportunity if you want it. What techniques might you use to get a conversation started around what you see as most important? Get more ideas by exploring our Links to Unconference Information in the sidebar.
  5. Attend the unconference! Don’t forget to register.
  6. Do you have more questions about how this will work? Please leave them in the comments here so we can have a conversation about it!
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